TeknTrash – Creating Wealth out of Waste

Al Costa | Founder | TeknTrash

Have you ever heard of anybody encashing on cash! Well, let’s introduce you to TeknTrash!

About the Company:

TeknTrash was born out of the idea that trash has valuable data which no one is collecting. As there are different kinds of trash, it requires a system specifically designed to identify products and capture data.  The company has been running since 2018.

Stipra is the world’s first rewards program for recycling and enables post-sales data collection. This provides valuable insight to companies who want to gain a deeper understanding of their consumers and demonstrate they are taking steps towards improving sustainability.

About the Founder:

Al Costa is the founder who currently lives in London.  TeknTrash is the 5th company created by him. The office is based in Canary Wharf in London, which is a big financial hub, however, tech companies have begun to move in.

Costa has created companies in the US, Brazil, Spain, and UK. He sold his  1st business to a NASDAQ listed company and lost everything with his 2nd, a lesson according to many entrepreneurs if not all, learn at some point!

His journey into entrepreneurship began when he reached a point of becoming tired of jobs which promised wonderful careers only to be faced with abrupt endings (along with many others) due to being laid off after a few months without rhyme or reason. A key sign of the fragility within the sector according to Costa.

I tell my daughters, do not to settle for a regular job, they are a waste of time, build a company as soon as they come out of college and learn the ropes while they are still young and energetic.- AI Costa

Encashing  on human resources:

I think there is a mantra about “teamwork” as the answer to every problem known to mankind. I believe in “results work”, that is, if the person likes to work solo and can deliver results, then fine with me, we are an AI company which employs Data Scientists (not the most sociable people), so we behave like a team generally however play to individual strengths alongside that. Having said that, it is also true that “two minds think better than one”, but when that becomes a goal instead of a tool, it is as harmful as no mind at all, teamwork is a tool, not an end according to Costa

We are raising further awareness of the global waste issue, and equally demonstrating that we can all do our bit to solve it – AI Costa

What keeps us going:

Costa explains:

We are disrupting the recycling industry. We believe it is a failed one, 8 million tons of plastic reach the ocean every year, 11% of all the methane in the atmosphere comes from trash (and methane is 88 times stronger than CO2 for global warming), and only 6% of all plastic is effectively recycled. The industry puts all the weight of recycling on the individual. It is a stick instead of a carrot model where if you recycle nothing happens but if you don’t you get punished. Considering the amount of money FMCG companies make, it seems only fair that they share some of that to encourage recycling? We are giving them a reason to, which is providing them with post-sales data to facilitate product improvement and sales optimisation, and a platform which supports their ESG efforts. This sends a clear message to their customers “We care about the environment and for that, we will reward you if you dispose of our products properly”

At your service:

We have an app for the consumer, both Apple/Android, which captures all their recycling habits and rewards them through perks which can be cashback, coupons, charitably donations and so on. We are building our partner base in this area every month so we hope to offer a lot more to the consumer soon.

The SaaS platform, stipra. corp is designed for the brands. They register, upload their products, begin a campaign with various parameters attached and start capturing consumption data each time someone disposes of their product. 

It’s a data and AI business at heart with a big mission around sustainability. The brands we partner with are part of the perks that consumers receive by using the app, we will also run joint business partnerships with other eco-focused brands where relevant. This is a part of the business that is being built up quite rapidly.

Keeping us going:

From the belief, that we are doing something not only financially sound, but good for the environment and society. In my particular case, my father was a diplomat and I lived in a very poor country such as Haiti. I saw how recycling is often the only source of income for many, if you think about it, Stipra is nothing more than a recycler of data. Data is much more expensive than plastic, glass and metal, which means Stipra should be able to reward those people much more, and that is a major incentive. A startup which is unable to do something extra besides just making money is not a startup, just a KFC franchise concludes Costa.